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Course Materials

What You Should Already Know

You should have completed Eighth-Grade English 1 (ENGL 35) or its equivalent before you take this course. The writing assignments in the foundation course will help prepare you for more advanced work.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply new vocabulary words to your reading and writing.
  2. Write your own persuasive letter, argumentative essay, journal entries, and novel chapter.
  3. Analyze literature by reading an epic adventure and a novel and completing additional recreational reading.
  4. Identify the elements of the research process and incorporate them into your own research paper.

Course Materials

Most of the reading you do in this course will be found online within the course. However, you will need to have a copy of the novel Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. This novel was published in 2000 and should not be hard to find. You may check this book out at your local library or purchase a copy of it from a bookstore.

Any first person references (I, me, my, etc.) in the course content refer to the author of the course, not your instructor.

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Eighth-Grade English 2 consists of six units. Each unit is made up of these sections: vocabulary, epic adventure, writing a research paper, novel study, journal entry, and reading log. You will be expected to complete the individual lessons in order, as each section builds upon the one before it.

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Self Checks

Throughout each unit, you will be expected to answer several questions about the lesson that you have just finished. These questions are not graded, but correctly answering them will help you prepare for the unit assignments and the final exam.

Unit Assignments

At the end of each unit, you will answer about 30 questions. These types of questions are designed to help you apply and analyze the things you have learned. The questions will deal with your vocabulary words, Adventures of Ulysses, research methods, aspects of your novel study, and other concepts from each unit. The number of questions you answer correctly will determine your grade for the corresponding unit.

In addition, you will answer cumulative review questions. Cumulative reviews are questions that cover material from all previous units. Cumulative Review 1 covers material found in units 1 through 4; Cumulative Review 2 covers material found in units 1 through 6. These reviews will make up a small percentage of your grade for the course, but they should be taken seriously. They help you remember information from the units so that you are better prepared for the final exam. Your scores on the cumulative reviews are a good indication of how you will perform on the final. If you find yourself struggling with the questions in the reviews, you may want to take the time to go back through the material as many times as necessary to feel confident for the final exam.

Portfolio Assignments

For your unit portfolios, you will finish the required writing assignments and then turn them in electronically for grading. This compilation of work and the score you receive from the instructor will determine your grade for these assignments.

Don’t save all your writing until you get to the portfolio submission sections. The course is designed so you will have the assignments completed before you get to the submission point. This is a way for me to give personalized feedback to improve your writing skills.


The final exam consists of 75 questions. It will consist of questions about the following:

The final exam is worth 20 percent of your grade.

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Your final grade will be a combination of the following:

The following chart shows how much each portfolio assignment is worth.

Unit 1 Portfolio
5 points Reading Log
10 points Journal Entry #1
10 points Research Interview
25 total points
Unit 2 Portfolio
75 points Persuasive Letter
25 points Oral Presentation
5 points Reading Log
10 points Journal Entry #2
115 total points
Unit 3 Portfolio
5 points Reading Log
10 points Journal Entry #3
10 points Research Paper Outline
70 points Research Paper Rough Draft
95 total points
Unit 4 Portfolio
5 points Reading Log
10 points Journal Entry #4
75 points Argumentative Essay
90 total points
Unit 5 Portfolio
5 points Reading Log
10 points Journal Entry #5
15 total points
Unit 6 Portfolio
5 points Reading Log
10 points Journal Entry #6
100 points Research Paper Final Draft
75 points Stargirl Missing Chapter
190 total points

530 combined points for all portfolios.

Total Grade Breakdown

Assignment Percent of Grade
Unit 1 Assignment 4%
Unit 1 Portfolio 3%
Unit 2 Assignment 4%
Unit 2 Portfolio 10%
Unit 3 Assignment 4%
Unit 3 Portfolio 8%
Unit 4 Assignment 4%
Unit 4 Portfolio 8%
Cumulative Review 1 3%
Unit 5 Assignment 4%
Unit 5 Portfolio 2%
Unit 6 Assignment 4%
Unit 6 Portfolio 19%
Cumulative Review 2 3%
Final Exam 20%
Grading Scale
A 100–93
A− 92–90
B+ 89–87
B 86–83
B− 82–80
C+ 79–77
C 76–73
C− 72–70
D+ 69–67
D 66–63
D− 62–60
E (fail) 59 or below

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Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work. This may also include when a student copies and pastes directly from another source and passes it off as his or her own, copies computer-generated text from a translation tool and uses it as his or her own, or fails to cite a source after loosely summarizing its content in his or her own words.

As determined by your instructor or the administration, if evidence of academic misconduct on assignments or exams is established, one of the two following consequences will apply to each incidence:

First Offense of Plagiarism

Second Offense of Plagiarism

Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


6 unit quizzes, 2 cumulative reviews, 6 portfolio submissions; may be resubmitted once for a fee.


1 proctored, computer-graded final exam, may retake once for a fee, must pass in order to pass the course.

Course Duration

You have 1 year to complete this course, but if you need more than a year, you may purchase one 3-month extension. Because of the nature of some assignments, you will not be able to complete this course in less than 2 months.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor.

You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.